Khoi Vinh’s movie reviews

Khoi Vinh is Principal Designer at Adobe. He’s done great work at more than a few high-profile companies. I’ve been reading his blog for as long as I can remember.

I always look forward to his “Movies Watched…” posts. He summarizes movies he’s seen recently and gives a one or two line summary along with a star rating and link to a (usually) longer review on Letterboxd.

I look forward to the reviews because I disagree with so many of them. My goodness, he has the worst taste in movies. Not always, but often enough that I can’t wait to yell at the screen every time a new post hits my reader.

I think what I disagree with isn’t always whether the films are good or bad, but that he seems to think he’s smarter than everyone making the movies he doesn’t like. Maybe he is, but there’s a smug undercurrent that infuriates me. I love it!

Examples from Movies Watched, April 2022, with bits of smug superiority highlighted:

“Drive My Car” (2021) ★★½
Is Haruki Murakami really that good of a storyteller, or are we all just deluding ourselves? This movie really made me wonder.

“Drive My Car” gets 2.5 stars hahaha I get it you’re smart and a contrarian. How dare you question Murakami.

“The Great Beauty” (2013) ★★★½
A somewhat preposterous protagonist makes for a movie that is shallower than it thinks. Still, Paolo Sorrentino’s incredibly vivid direction turns it into something exactly as rapturous as his aspirations.

I enjoyed “The Great Beauty,” too. It would have been better if it weren’t so damned shallow, I guess.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022) ★★½
Rewatched. I went back because my wife wanted to see it, and I liked and understood it a little better, but it still fell short for me.

Of course it fell short, because you’re way ahead of it (and everyone else, probably?)

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (2022) ★★★
A fun enough ride but way more self-congratulatory than substantive.

Nic Cage playing Nic Cage is self-congratulatory? No shit. It would have sucked had it gone for “substantive”.

I’m just poking fun. No harm intended. Believe it or not, I very much enjoy Khoi’s reviews. Keep ’em coming!

At least he’s right about Dune.